‘Udyam’ Provides Wings to Academic Aspirations of Rural Students Continuing to develop into a Centre of Excellence, Shrimad Rajchandra Vidyapeeth recently conducted a large-scale education programme – ‘Udyam’. Through this programme students of 12th standard in the Science stream were provided with academic support for competitive examinations, live mock examinations, career counselling support and opportunities to avail scholarships. In view of the ongoing pandemic, the Shrimad Rajchandra Vidyapeeth team structured the programme to be completely online. The programme witnessed participation of students from 30 schools across the talukas of Dharampur, Chikli, Kaprada, Khergam, Valsad, and Vansda in South Gujarat. Through phase one of Udyam, participating students were given comprehensive information on the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET) – a national-level pre-medical entrance test, as well as the Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET) – a state-level entrance test for engineering and pharmacy courses. Additionally, sessions on improving memory, developing the ability of self-study and holistic well-being were also conducted. During phase two, over 330 students appeared for a mock examination of either or both NEET-GUJCET. Every examinee was provided with personalised and detailed analysis of his/her performance, which greatly aided the test-taking and studying strategy of the students in the lead up to the examinations. Phase three involved a host of sessions related to career counselling, understanding various admission processes and available scholarships for higher studies. 25 top performing students in mock tests were offered a scholarship under the Shrimad Rajchandra Vidya Vikas Yojana to encourage them to pursue higher education of their choice. Two students who participated in the Udyam initiative stood amongst the top 15 percentile from over 1 lakh students who appeared for the GUJCET examinations. These students were awarded a Certificate of Achievement by Dr C. K. Timbadia – Director, Extension Education, Navsari Agricultural University. This was a unique initiative and one-of-its kind in South Gujarat, which offered a holistic programme encompassing counselling, testing, academic and financial support.